Chimney Sweeps



This public notice is given, that the benevolent enactments of the legislature in favour of Chimney-Sweepers’ Apprentices may be carried into effect, and the Masters are hereby particularly warned to comply strictly with the regulations of this law, and of which they cannot in future plead ignorance as an excuse for neglecting their duty.

28 Geo. III. Chap.48.
That no Chimney-Sweeper shall have any one time more than six apprentices.
That no boy shall be employed as a climber, who is under the age of 8 years.
That every Chimney Sweeper shall provide for each of his apprentices a leather cap, on the front of which shall be affixed a brass plate, containing the name and place of abode of such Chimney-Sweeper; which cap, with the plate, the apprentices shall always wear when out on duty.

That no Chimney-Sweeper shall let out to hire to any other Chimney-Sweeper, or other person, any of his apprentices.
That no Chimney-Sweeper shall suffer any of his boys to call the streets before 5 o’clock in the morning in the summer, nor before 7 o’clock in winter, nor ever after 12 o’clock at noon.
That no Chimney-Sweeper should oblige his apprentice to go up any chimney which is on fire.
That every Chimney-Sweeper shall provide for each of his apprentices warm and decent clothing, (in which shoes and stockings are understood,) to wear when on duty; and also at least, once every year (over and above the climbing dress), one whole and complete suite of clothing, in suitable linen, stockings, hat and shoes. And that he shall, at least, once in every week, cause each apprentice to be thoroughly washed and cleansed from soot and dirt; and cause him to attend the public worship of God on the Sabbath day and permit him to receive the benefit of any other religious instruction.
That no Chimney-Sweeper shall suffer his apprentice to wear his sweeping-dress on the Lord’s Day.
That every Chimney-Sweeper shall provide for his apprentice competent and sufficient meat, drink, washing, lodging and apparel.
That every Chimney-Sweeper offending in any of these instances, shall on conviction, pay a penalty not exceeding £10, nor less than £5; one half of which shall go to the informer, and the other half to the overseer, for the use of the poor.
(Kentish Gazette Fri March 18, 1808 p.1 col.1)
G. BREWSTER, Bridge Street and 1 Paul’s Place (listed under sweeps Pike’s Dover Blue Book Directory 1906)
James CLARK, old chimney sweep from Canterbury (had five sons, all sweeps). “Battle of chimney sweeps, police and prize-fighters” in Dover, Autumn 1844. Death of a policeman. One son was later transported to Australia.
(“Crime and Criminals in Victorian Kent! By Gray 1985, pages 11,12)
Mr James CLARK aged 59, death. The deceased was well known in Canterbury, having carried on the business of a chimney-sweeper in North-Lane and is the person who, with his sons was lately charged with being concerned in the murder of COUCHMAN, a Dover policeman (Dover Telegraph 12 Jul 1845)
Thomas COWPER, chimney sweep of St James Dover – apprentice Thomas RILEY a poor boy of Walmer aged 12. Indenture 18 Sep 1817 for 7 yrs. Fee £2. 10s. paid by Guardians of the Poor at Walmer
(WALMER Poor children apprenticeships U3/60/14/1 – only two are listed)

George FINN head married 29 chimney sweep born Middlesex
Margaret A. FINN wife “ 30 + two young children
+ Elizabeth Mary JARVEST nurse married 50 nurse born Seasalter Kent
(DOVER 1861 Census, 5 Priory Street, St Marys Parish)
NB. Eliz Jarvest appears to be a “monthly nurse” ie attended confinements, staying with family for a time afterwards.)
George FINN, chimney sweep, 5 Priory Street, Dover
(1875 Sinnock Directory, page LXXXI advert)
G. GILHAM, Chimney Sweeper and Carpet Beater, 106 London Road, Dover
A trial order respectfully solicited. (advert opposite page 88, Standard Directory of Dover 1896)
G. GILHAM, 106 London Road, (listed under sweeps Pike’s Dover Blue Book Directory 1906)
W. HOWELL, 19 Woolcomber Street (listed under sweeps Pike’s Dover Blue Book Directory 1906)
Thomas MANSER, chimney sweep – he was assaulted. Gave evidence at Dover Petty Sessions – (9 line report )
(Dover Telegraph 21 Aug 1847 p.8 col.3)
J. PALMER & Co. (listed under sweeps Pike’s Dover Blue Book Directory 1906)
J. PALMER & Co., Chimney Sweeps, Telephone No. 1 Y 3. All orders punctually attended to. Patent stoves cleaned. Machinery of the latest invention for all kinds of Chimneys and Flues.
25 High Street, Dover. (Advert) (Pike’s Dover Blue Book Directory 1906)
James Lennox PHILPOT, chimney sweeper, 7 Woolcomber St Dover (Dover Commercial List PO Directory 1878)
Edward Bowles SLAUGHTER (1820-1909) – left his niece several cottages in Dover but these were compulsorily purchased during the 1930s at a very low price. It is thought that EBS sent little boys up chimneys to clean them – and also thought that he had a business at Dover Harbour cleaning the steamers’ chimney stacks, and that the boys were called “Slaughter’s Imps”. (What is believed to be a photograph of him appears in KFHS Journal Vol.9 No.8 page 421) (thanks to Susan Turck for this information)
T. TESTER, 27 Priory Road, (listed under sweeps Pike’s Dover Blue Book Directory 1906)
George and Annie WATSON (sweep) (1881 Charlton by Dover Census, 33 High Street ref.25, RG11/1000)